Calvary is part of the Rockford Diocese Cemetery System, and is administered by St. Mary Parish. The exact year of its foundation is unknown, but the first burial of record occurred in 1834, even before the beginning of St. Mary Parish, which appears to have taken place in either 1851 or 1853. The cemetery was significantly expanded in 1889 with a land grant from the estate of a generous family.
We currently complete about 50 interments each year. There are approximately 3500 interments in the cemetery and 1200 additional graves reserved by parish families.
Calvary Cemetery is operated under the direction of a Cemetery Commission, comprised of four lay Commissioners, a Cemetery Coordinator, and St. Mary’s Business Manager, who also serves as the Cemetery Manager. The Cemetery Commission is affiliated with the Rockford Diocese Office of Catholic Cemeteries and meets several times a year to review policies and address any concerns.
Calvary Cemetery is currently divided into thirteen Sections, designated A through T. Sections A and B are the closest to Jackson St and have the oldest graves. Sections C and D and M were developed next. Section N was the next section opened, Section N having been opened in 2003. Section G is the most recent section to be opened in 2018. Lot markers have been placed in Section J. Inurnment's are in northwest corner of the Cemetery in Section I. The rest of all the other sections south of Dolan Drive are largely undeveloped at this time.
Additionally, in the northwest corner of the cemetery (top left on the map), there is an American flag, two Columbarium's and a pavilion where Cemetery Masses are celebrated during the warmer months, and also a memorial to the unborn victims of abortion.